Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Android and Fedora Talk

A little bit of technology.

The Fedora Project provides it's contributors with a VOIP account. This can be accessed via any softphone and, it turns out, via Sipdroid on the Android platform. The process is rather simple to setup.

Step 1. Join the Fedora Project.
Step 2. Install Sipdroid on your Android phone.
Step 3. Activate your VOIP account in FAS.
Step 4. Configure Sipdroid as follows:

> Preferred Call Type: Phone
Underneath SIP Account Settings
> Authorization Username: [FAS account]
> Password: [VOIP Password]
> Server:
> Domain: [empty]
> Username/Caller ID: [FAS account]
> Port: 5060
> Protocol: UDP

And that's pretty much it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FADNA May 2010

This past weekend I attended my first FAD event - this one was specific for the Ambassador group within Fedora, whose mission it is to spread the Fedora message, FADNA 2010.

Some quick background - I became a Fedora Ambassador after last year's Red Hat Summit after Scott McBrien urged me to get involved. Since then, I've learned tons about Fedora - the project and the people behind it. I've been using Fedora for about two or three years now. Fedora is the upstream Linux distribution that Red Hat sponsors and ultimately ends up basing RHEL releases on.

Back to the FAD. I met lots of interesting folks in real life that I've been chatting with on irc in the #rhel and #fedora-ambassador channels. This was an excellent meeting for me because I got to meet the people that have done a large part of the driving within the Ambassador group for Fedora. John Rose setup the event at the Iowa State University, which is a nice campus (Man, I miss college and campus life!)

We spent the daylight hours working on as much of agenda items as possible and continued the discussions late into the night. Very little sleep was done by anyone. The meeting definitely increased my motivation and desire to work on Fedora and some of my personal projects (bioloid robot) that will use Fedora.

Learned about the marketing group and the fantastic work they've done. The material that they've produced is something that many ambassadors and contributors don't seem to know much about. This material is extremely useful and ambassadors would do themselves a favour by looking through and learning the material. Since Fedora is a brand that describes both a community and a project, having a cohesive message when presenting or talking about Fedora makes it easier for both the presenter and the recipient of the information.

Learned about the ambassador mentoring process. Since this is a relatively new initiative in the ambassador group, from a formal perspective, the ways in which this is actually implemented is very much open to suggestion and improvements. It also turns out that becoming a mentor is as simple as asking the current mentor group.

Learned that most groups within Fedora are driven by a handful of really dedicated individuals in each group. Pareto's principle really does apply here. Kudos to those I had the good fortune and pleasure of meeting this weekend, I, and anyone else who's paying attention should also be, extremely impressed and awed.

One of the main things I learned is that a lot of tremendously talented people have already done a lot of amazing work that I had no idea existed. Ah, the internets. I am really looking forward to attending the next Fedora event.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Open Source Participation (or Why I Love Open Source)

A conversation that seems to have happened quite a few times for me in the past 6 months or so is why I think Open Source is important. You may have read something like this before. I feel like I should write it up so I can remember and others can understand.

I participate in the Fedora project and am very excited to be a part of it. This is my volunteer project. This also happens to benefit me professionally since Fedora is the upstream distribution on which Red Hat bases RHEL. A larger global reason for my participation in the project is also that I believe that Open Source Software/Ideas/Projects are something that benefit everyone.

Personally, that's a huge motivation. Teaching and learning are the two most important activities that I think we, humans, can participate in. I personally feel that once you stop learning, there isn't much point in going on. Thank you Mom and Dad for instilling in me this incredible desire to want to know how the world works.

I've been a teacher pretty much since I was in High School - I tutored 5th and 6th graders in math, tutored fellow college students in math at the math center in college, trained co-workers when I started working professionally on the technologies and concepts that I knew, etc., and, more recently, have become a professional Instructor. Being a teacher/tutor/mentor has enabled me to accelerate my learning and has really kept me interested in the latest and greatest things that humanity has come up with - technological, scientific, medical, and concepts.

I have found that Open Source projects are one of the most rewarding ways in which to learn (receive), teach (give) and participate (fulling sense of purpose). I love Open Source.